PNP fires 10 officers in used choppers dealBy DJ Yap
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has complied the Ombudsman’s order and fired 10 active officers and a nonuniformed worker implicated in the anomalous purchase of secondhand helicopters passed off as brand new in 2009.
Senior Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr., PNP spokesperson, said the police force implemented the Ombudsman’s May 30 resolution that laid out administrative sanctions against retired and active personnel indicted on graft charges over the choppers scam.
Among those dismissed from the service, effective June 15, were two officers of chief superintendent rank—Luis Saligumba and Herold Ubalde—and a nonuniformed worker.
The retirement benefits of the 11 members of the PNP were forfeited and they were permanently disqualified from holding public office, Cerbo said.
Directors Leocadio Santiago and George Piano, who retired in March and April, respectively, and Supt. Claudio Gaspar Jr., who retired in February, were slapped with fines equivalent to a year’s salary deducted from their accumulative leave credits.
Their retirement benefits were also forfeited and they were permanently disqualified from holding public office for “serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service,” Cerbo said.
Three noncommissioned officers and three nonuniformed workers who were charged with a lower offense of falsification were meted out lighter penalties of six months suspension, he added.
On June 6, the Office of the Ombudsman filed a graft charge against Jose Miguel Arroyo, the husband of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, in the Sandiganbayan for allegedly selling his two Raven I helicopters to the PNP and passing them off as brand new.
Also charged were 20 PNP officers, led by then Director General Jesus Verzosa, and Hilario de Vera, president of Manila Aerospace Products Trading, a PNP supplier.
They were accused of violating antigraft law, which penalizes acts of public officials that cause undue injury to any party or give a private party any unwarranted benefit or advantage.
Seven other PNP members were also charged with falsification of public documents for claiming that the two helicopters conformed to specifications of the National Police Commission.